Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Death Eaters Tea Club Specialty Box from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe

Bring out your inner good or bad wizard with a box of wizarding-world-themed tea goodies. Riddle’s Tea Shoppe offers quarterly boxes alternating between the Death Eaters Tea Club (canonically, the bad guys) and the Auror Tea Society (the good guys). The 2018 spring Death Eaters box was my first hands-on experience with Riddle’s Tea Shoppe, though I’ve long admired photos from afar.

This box was jam-packed with well-designed surprises. My box featured a canister of Basilisk Egg tea bags (spicy, earthy chai with lemongrass and peppercorns), a bag of loose Devil’s Snare tea (rich black tea with dark berry and cocoa flavors), and a bag of loose Venomous Tentacula tea (a decaf blend of black tea and rooibos with strawberry marzipan flavors). To pair with my tea was a vial of shimmery Unicorn Blood (simple syrup). Each treat featured original artwork or uniquely designed labels to make them feel extra magical and make them suitable to display in your tea shelf.

Beyond tea, the box included a laser cut wood bookmark and enamel pin, featuring stylish typography of favorite evil wizard spell words. There was also a print of an original watercolor painting of the Chamber of Secrets from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe’s creator. Of course, the Death Eaters Tea Club cute-and-creepy skull logo is on the box itself and various stickers and labels.

This box gave a lot of experience and beauty for a modest price. The one challenge is ordering before the pre-orders sell out, and waiting while the materials are assembled and shipped. To keep up-to-date on the next box, check out Death Eaters Tea Club (@deatheatersteaclub), Auror Tea Society (@aurorteasociety), and Riddle’s Tea Shoppe (@riddlesteashoppe) on Instagram. Also check on Riddle’s Tea Shoppe on Etsy for non-box goods related to tea and fantasy fandoms. The shop updates randomly, so check back often.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: various
Where to Buy: RTS Quarterly
Description: Each box contains:
– 1 canister of tea [Caffeinated]
– 2 small tea samples (10g each) [1 decaf / 1 caffeinated]
– 1 enamel pin
– 4 additional surprise items!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Bear from Banff Tea Company. . . .

In the winter – I’m sort of a hermit. Or I tend to want to hibernate like a bear. Regardless – that is what this tea remind me of…a nice tea to sit down and hibernate with. A nice tea to sip on when you are overly frustrated with winter, too, because one sip will having you thinking SPRING is right around the corner.

The tea I’m writing about today is Black Bear from Banff Tea Company. It’s flavored black tea with enough caffeine to light a figurative fire under your butt in the morning. “This blend is indeed black and contains enough berries and leaves to satisfy any of the Park’s locals,” according to the company website.

The origins hail from Sri Lanka and the ingredients are Black tea, blackberry leaves, elderberries, dried blackcurrants, hibiscus, mallow flowers, sunflower petals, cornflower petals, natural Flavoring.

I’m not a fan of hibiscus so when I tasted the berry and realized this flavored berry tea did NOT contain hibiscus in it I nearly jumped for joy! This is a nicely done berry flavored black tea. The flavor ratios are very pleasing.

This is great iced but very good hot, too! It’s naturally sweet on its own and a delightful cuppa!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Banff Tea Company
Description

This blend is indeed black and contains enough berries and leaves to satisfy any of the Park’s locals.

Caffeine Level: High.

Origin: Sri Lanka.

Ingredients: Black tea, blackberry leaves, elderberries, dried currents, hibiscus, mallow flowers, sunflower petals, cornflower petals, natural flavouring.

Steeping Suggestions: 1 teaspoon (3g) of tea per 6oz cup of water, 90°C (194°F) for 2-5 minutes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Puerh from Pinky Out. . .

The further I delve into the world of tea the more I am astounded by its depth. Behind every tea, every brand, dear I say even every leaf, lies a story.While on a recent cruise I read The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane. This book is not only well written but also truly enlightening on tea. More specifically though on Pu Er; which of course is what this tea is.

Complex is understatement. And Pu Er is only a sub category of Dark tea! I have to admit I wasn’t really a fan of pu er but perhaps that is only because I tasted a fake or something to the same accord. Though I don’t mind this one. I honestly do not smell anything from the dry leaves. One who has looked at plenty of leaves can tell this is different then black tea but the differences between ripe, aged, raw are something I … have no idea. There is a mild smell in the wet leaves. Something I can’t quite define, something of the earth. The liquid is quite a bit darker then I was expecting. Some say it tastes like dirt but then I wonder what type of dirt these people are chewing on. It has a bit of a heavier body in my opinion complete with some unique earthy flavors.

Part of me wonders where this one was harvested. The general public would say, “China of course!” But those who love tea know there is more to it then that.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Pu Erh
Where to Buy: Pinky Out
Description

Pu-erh is said to have originated during the Eastern Han Dynasty in the Yunnan Province.

Pu-erh was traded heavily along what was known as “The Ancient Tea Route” or “Tea Horse Road”. Around a thousand years ago Yunnan, one of the first tea producing regions traded Pu-Erh along the route. The tea traveled a long road by horse, mule, and even person. Pu-Erh made an excellent tea for this sort of travel, as it did not spoil easily during the long trips. In fact it was found that Pu-Erh actually improved with time boasting yet another advantage for the Yunnanese.

Sourced from China no matter how far our Pu-Erh has to travel before it makes it to your cup, you can be sure it will still boast the same authentic flavor and health benefits sought after during the time of The Ancient Tea Route.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!